Kaiser Permanente’s recent announcement about a series of bold actions to fight racial injustice and economic inequity represents a dramatic expansion of their transformative strategy to revitalize many of this country’s most under-resourced communities and improve the wellness outcomes of their residents.
The nation’s largest integrated health system, Kaiser Permanente is building on its 75-year commitment to economic justice and inclusion. Their wide-ranging investments send a powerful message that the organization and its partners including ICIC stand with those who are fighting for inclusive economic prosperity and social justice. They are designed to “address systemic racism and lack of economic opportunities that have persisted for far too long and prevented communities of color, and especially Black communities, from achieving total health.”
In taking these transformative steps, Greg A. Adams, Kaiser Permanente’s chairman and CEO, expressed a deep sense of urgency. “The tragic murder of George Floyd and so many others has reverberated around the world, pushing us to demand overdue change to a status quo that keeps communities of color in the margins and holds us all back as a society. As a country, this is a moment to define who we are and what we stand for. We must take strong action to stop the physical, psychological, economic and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their skin color, can feel safe and thrive.”
ICIC is proud to be one of Kaiser Permanente’s most significant partners in accomplishing these goals which are central to our shared mission. Narrowing our country’s racial wealth gap by creating sustainable small business ecosystems in our most economically vulnerable communities has been ICIC’s principal goal since its founding in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Dr. Michael E. Porter following the 1992 LA Uprising.
Since 2016 when Kaiser Permanente embraced ICIC’s Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program by sponsoring our first joint cohort for small business owners in Los Angeles, alumni from cohorts in Baltimore, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Stockton and Washington, DC have provided local residents and surrounding anchor institutions with vital services, created jobs, generated wealth and helped drive inclusive prosperity in their communities. Collectively, more than 1,000 alumni of Kaiser-sponsored cohorts have created 1,361 jobs, raised $67 million of capital to finance their expansion plans and averaged a 45% increase in average revenue since completing the program. They continue to benefit from their participation in ICIC’s Inner City Alumni Network (ICAN) which is designed to provide continuing business education, networking opportunities and new customer relationships.
The enhanced partnership just announced between Kaiser Permanente and ICIC will expand the ICCC program across all Kaiser Permanente regions including those noted above and will be the catalyst for significant additional recruitment of small business owners in Atlanta, Denver, Fresno, the Inland Empire in Southern California, and Seattle. It will enable approximately 750 under-resourced local entrepreneurs to participate annually to build their access to capital and achieve sustainable growth in revenue and employment.
We are proud to share inspirational stories of resilience and achievement by graduates of Kaiser Permanente-sponsored cohorts, all of which demonstrate the transformative impact our ICCC program has had on these extraordinary entrepreneurs. JI-Solutions, Amerisal Foods, DR Roberts Event Management, and 24/7 MedStaff show what is possible in our under-resourced communities when you can access capacity-building executive education, one-on-one coaching and capital.